Review: Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, cellist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez team up

Posted on: October 12, 2017

“What happens when the one and only Bill Murray recites American literature and flexes his pipes on songs from the great American songbook, backed by three accomplished classical musicians at a packed Orchestra Hall?,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (10/11) Chicago Tribune. “A unique and hugely enjoyable entertainment happens, that’s what. ‘New Worlds: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends’ was the name of the show the famed Wilmette-raised actor and comedian, along with cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez, brought to Symphony Center on Tuesday night as part of a national tour.… As conceived by Vogler and Murray, the show was about building bridges between New and Old World cultures, about celebrating the connections … between literature, poetry and music, and how top-flight performers from different artistic disciplines … can illuminate those connections. Murray’s readings from Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and other American authors and poets were the bedrock of the program, which segued from recitation to classical and pop musical standards by Stephen Foster, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.… If this is what it takes to sell light classical music and renew interest in neglected classics of American literature … maybe Murray and friends are on to something.”

Posted October 12, 2017